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Cover art by: Tony Harris
Before Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released, one of the minor (not so relevant to the plot) questions people were asking was: why does C-3PO have a red arm? The special one shot comic book C-3PO #1 answers the question. It was supposed to be released in December 2015 as a companion to the movie, but release schedules and working on completing a story can be tricky, so the release got pushed to April 13th 2016.
We finally have it here. Warning, this article is a summary of the 31 pages comic book. If you want to read the comic yourself and don't want us to spoil the surprise, then stop right here. If you want to find out why he has a red arm, then continue after the break.
In the movies, C-3PO is played and voiced by Anthony Daniels. Although this particular protocol droid can be annoying, he has turned into a fan favorite. It is difficult to read the comic book without imagining Daniels' voice saying the words. Anyhow, the story entitled C-3PO "The Phantom Limb" is one in which the droid is not only the main character, but also one in which he gets to show his leadership skills.
This comic book is set before Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
The story starts with C-3PO and a group of droids crash landing while transporting a prisoner droid. Admiral Ackbar is in the hands of the First Order and they hope the droid can provide them with his location, so they can attempt a rescue mission. The ship's captain is missing or dead, so it is up to the droids to complete the mission and deliver the prisoner to the Resistance. An argument starts when C-3PO tries to tell them what to do and where to go. It seems that there is a homing beacon near by. He claims that he is suited to be the leader by stating "I have more field experience." The other droids (PZ-99 a security droid similar to the one seen accompanying Billie Lourd in TFA,
a medical droid, a construction droid and VL-44, a heavily armed security droid) doubt his abilities to lead. The medical droid basically tells him that he is a coward. After observing all this, the enemy droid tells them that because of their programming they are all acting like humans without even wanting to. He also tells them that they could have, at some point, served the other side (the enemy) and they would never know it since their memories often get wiped by their masters (a nod to C-3PO in Episode III). Despite all this, they start walking to the beacon.
While on the way, they are attacked by spice spiders. PeeZee uses his blasters to protect them (yes, he has blasters) but they end up losing one of their companions. PeeZee draws the spiders away so the rest can escape. Later on they are attacked by a creature with tentacles. This creature rips off C-3PO's arm. The construction droid saves the group but sustains too much damage and falls into the river where the attacking creature came from. After one more attack (this time by flying creatures) the group is down to only two droids, C-3PO and the prisioner (OMRI). Both droids continue their way to the homing beacon. As Omri stated before, they have human-like programming, so they chat along the way, just like humans would. When they are about to reach the beacon, it starts raining acid. They seek refuge under a downed Tie Fighter, but the beacon and their hope for rescue is being destroyed by the acid. So OMRI decides to transfer the information about where the First Order is holding Ackbar to 3PO and then starts walking towards the beacon. He tells 3PO that he is not choosing sides (Resistance or the First Order), but rather choosing friendship, he considers C-3PO his friend. while under the acid rain, OMRI's paint job wears off exposing a coat of red primer. OMRI manages to change the frequency of the beacon to transmit a signal to Poe Dameron but gets destroyed by the acid rain.
Poe arrives to save C-3PO and the information. Poe tells 3PO that he is going to need a new arm. C-3PO picks up the now red arm that belonged to OMRI from the ground and tells Poe "I already have one." He later gets it installed and tells BB-8 that he will keep it for a while to remember his friend.
The story makes reference to places and characters later used in The Force Awakens, including the planet Jakku and the battle that happened there in the game Star Wars Battlefront. It is a nice story and it is nice to finally know how and why C-3PO has a red arm in Episode VII. It is a comic book worth adding to your collection.
C-3PO #1 "The Phantom Limb"
Writer: James robinson
Art: Tony Harris
Cover: Tony Harris